Femme Film 2017

Infiltrating and Dismantling Dominant Narratives:

The Manifestation of Intersectionality in Modern Feminist Shorts

Curated by Amanda Foote & Ami Kenzo

Presented by EMMEDIA Gallery & Production Society
Part of Femme Wave Feminist Music & Arts Festival’s Femme Film series

November 17, 2017
Panel: 6:15PM – 7:00PM
Screening (on a loop): 7:00PM – 9:00PM

The feminist landscape in Calgary has been shaped by many forces. As filmmakers working from a specific feminist lens there are heavy responsibilities to share and much work to be done. Today’s feminist filmmakers have inherited a legacy of triumph but also challenges.

These challenges, which have defined the modern feminist movement, range from topics exploring inclusion, access, and intersectionality. Tonight’s programming celebrates the women engaging in the revolutionary act of activism to induce change through the art of storytelling. Each piece addresses by means of unique visuals, voice and perspectives concepts relating to identity, space, representation and narrative control.

This program has been produced through EMMEDIA’s Homegrown Curatorial Program.

We acknowledge the festival takes place on the land of the Treaty 7 People, which includes the Kainai, Siksika, Piikani, Tsuut’ina and Stoney Nakoda First Nations, as well as the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III. We are all treaty people, visitors to this land and we give thanks to the people who came before and keep this land for us and all our future generations.
Femme Wave Feminist Arts Festival and organizers are committed to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race or religion.


Amanda Foote has worked in community-based settings across North America, and is particularly interested in the use of heritage in community development. She utilizes diverse media, such as film, art, and music, in much of her work, and is passionate about the responsibility we all have to youth and our communities. Amanda is a founding member of the Nakoda A/V Club, a youth run collective of Indigenous artists and allies, that believes in the power of story. She produces for the club, organizing events and assisting youth in telling their stories. As a cultural specialist she works with museums and artists in research, development, and administration. She is also a film director/editor for projects such as Whore Logic, Residency Unlimited, and the Italian American Museum.

Ami Kenzo is a writer, emerging filmmaker and activist concerned with subjects addressing the agency, voice and space of the marginalized. The act of balancing two cultural spheres of existence, a spiced Congolese core identity with a glazed coating of Western influence has inevitably influenced the way she navigates the world and negotiates her existence. It is this process of negotiation that forms the foundation for her desire to align herself with organizations, causes and artistic projects that properly reflect the space she occupies and champions the causes of the disenfranchised. She has participated in collaborations and projects that range from production and researching role on a documentary on feminism, served as Assistant Director on a short experimental art film, and has written for Our Legacy Newspaper. In addition to these collaborations, Ami is Board Secretary for Antyx Community Arts and a co-curator for Femme Wave.


Moderator Geneviève Dale is currently a student at the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. She is a current volunteer at CJSW, and previously served as Program Director and Volunteer Coordinator. She has a BFA in Theatre from the University of Victoria. She is also an avid film lover and concertgoer in the city.

Vicki Van Chau is a filmmaker and media artist from Calgary. She graduated from the Alberta College of Art + Design in Media Arts & Digital Technologies, and is currently the Programming Director at EMMEDIA Gallery & Production Society. In her time there, she co-founded the PARTICLE + WAVE Media Arts Festival and co-publishes Luma, a quarterly online publication about film & media art. She is an active arts community member and has sat on the Board of Directors for the Untitled Art Society, EXPOSURE Photography Festival, and most recently, the Alberta Media Arts Alliance Society. In 2014, she was the recipient of the Spirit of Helen Award for her contributions to the media arts community in Alberta.

Anna Cooley is a filmmaker from Calgary who loves telling stories. She spends her time crafting projects, learning new skills and teaching anything she happens to learn. Anna is currently an Apprentice in the inaugural Canadian Academy of Cinema and Television Woman Director Apprenticeship Program. Sleepwalker is her first narrative project in quite some time, but she has also made a feature documentary call A Sauropod Abroad and her production company Erratic Pictures has all sorts of things in development.

Cheryl Foggo, a descendent of the Black pioneers of Alberta and Saskatchewan, is an award-winning writer of fiction, non-fiction and plays and has also written for TV and written and directed for film. Her most recent play, John Ware Reimagined, won the 2015 Writers Guild of Alberta Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama and will be seen next at Edmonton’s Workshop West Theatre Company November 9th-19th, 2017. In 2014/15 she co-produced Alberta’s first Black Canadian Theatre Series with Ellipsis Tree Collective Theatre Company. Cheryl is continuing her exploration of the life and roots of legendary Black cowboy John Ware in a new documentary with the National Film Board of Canada, scheduled for release in the fall of 2018.

Suza Singh is a writer, director, and producer. She is the founder of Reel Diverse, a non-profit organization that creates opportunities for diverse groups, and supports lead roles for women of colour. She is also a martial artist and former National Taekwondo Champion, and works with a wide range of fighters in her films. She received a Lifetime Achievement Award signed by past president Barack Obama, at the Legend of Martial Arts event in LA. She is currently in post production for a short film, Replecan, which the teaser trailer and the starring actress’ (Asha Annais) stunt reel has been selected for the Urban Action Showcase Expo in Times Square (New York), sponsored by HBO.

Amber Twoyoungmen is an inspiring young woman who is driven to celebrate her community though film and the arts. One of the first members of the Nakoda A/V Club, she has created three of her own short films, and collaborated on many projects. She dreams of attending film school, and has worked her way through various film education programs near her Morley, Alberta home.


Two Spirited
Sharon A. Desjarlais
2007, 6 min.

This short documentary presents the empowering story of Rodney “Geeyo” Poucette’s struggle against prejudice in the Indigenous community as a two spirited person (gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered). Geeyo registers as a dancer in the Kamloopa Powwow under the Jingle Dress category (normally reserved for women). Deeply humiliated by a misguided elder, Geeyo is reminded by his grandmother that two spirited people were once respected and honoured for their spiritual gifts. Geeyo eventually makes a triumphant return to the powwow arena, realizing that the only way to change people’s minds is to walk proudly while being true to one’s spirit.

Mon corps à dos
Gaëlle Hannebicque
2015, 8:18 min.

She twists me, bends me, transforms my body. This curved spine.
This hump on my back cutting off my wings, sticking to my skin.
Like a shedding that will not occur…
My scoliosis.

Amber Twoyoungmen
2013, 4 min.

A young girl gets burned when a love letter she writes earns her the scorn of her would-be boyfriend, but she shows him that she knows just how to play with fire. This short film is Amber Twoyoungmen’s directorial debut, and was written, shot, and edited entirely by youth.

Anna Cooley
2017, 5:56 min.

Lily must defeat the demons that lurk in her nightmares if she is to save herself and the woman she loves.

This Is Not a Passport Photo
Stephanie Simpson
2017, 10:20 min.

In this short documentary, follow Canadian photographer Stephanie Simpson as she takes family photos for resettled refugees. Meet the families, see their photo sessions, and find out what new photographs and a new home in Canada mean to them.

Voluptuous Beauty
Nicole Murphy
2016, 5:57 min.

Meet Maxine, a mother, wife and plus sized model. For her entire life, she was told that she would not achieve her dreams. But she is here to overcome other’s exceptions and redefine beauty, showing her children anything is possible.

Calgary Femme Youth
2017, 1:54 min.

As part of Femme Wave 2017 Antyx Community Arts, the Nakoda AV Club, and Quickdraw Animation Society collaborated to offer an animation and storytelling workshop for femme and gender non-binary youth. In lending their voices, stories and artistic skills, workshop participants Aurora, Alicia, Alexa, Ocean, Salma and Avril with the aid of youth-mentors Amber and Myah from the Nakoda AV Club created the resulting short entitled Femme Morph.
Using the medium of poetry and the morph animation style, our participants explored and unpacked the concept of “girlhood” as it relates to their respective spaces and experiences.
The collaborative project was funded by the Arusha Take Action Grant, which without, the workshop would not have occurred. Femme Wave would also like to extend its deepest and sincerest gratitude to our community partners, sponsors and collaborators for supporting this initiative, and to EMMEDIA for generously providing their space. And to our workshop facilitators Alia Shahab, Arielle McCuaig and Mihaela Slabé, a special thank you for the gift of your time, dedication and passion for this project, and for sharing your talents and expertise.


John Ware: Reclaimed
Cheryl Foggo

As of August 2017, Foggo is in production on John Ware: Reclaimed, an upcoming National Film Board of Canada (NFB) documentary film about Ware. Dramatic recreations are being shot on Ware’s former ranch in southern Alberta, with African American rodeo champion Fred Whitfield in the title role.

Suza Singh

16 year old Valetika Romanoff awakes to find herself in an unfamiliar location with a bullet wound in her leg. She is told that she is not where, what or who she thinks she is. Special Agent Carter works to unravel the mystery of the Replecan program which appears to behind a network of International assassinations.

This film is currently in post production. The teaser trailer and the starring actress’ (Asha Annais) stunt reel has been selected for the Urban Action Showcase Expo in Times Square (New York), sponsored by HBO.

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